"Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one.
I hope someday you'll join us, and the world will be as one. "
~John Lennon

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

There is a reverence and deep family tradition that is an essential part of Memorial Day weekend in mid western towns. I hardly know where to begin explaining with my limited knowledge of what takes place.

Some of my friends have already been to various cemeteries to place flowers on the graves of loved ones. There are readings and flowers and some personal time spent with each person who has left this earth. I find the whole experience to be loving and respectful.

Great grandparents are honored with a visit and flowers and then all family members' graves are decorated  as their passing is acknowledged and honored.

When I expressed surprise at all the activity, one friend asked me what did I think Memorial Day meant and the only thing I could come up with was that it was a holiday, a day off work for lots of people, and time for families to get together and I actually thought it was mostly about the men and women who died while doing service for this country.

Hearing my friends talking about their families and what it means to them to pay respect this way has given me so much, a blessing, and joy. Thinking beyond my only concept of this holiday to include remembrance of family members is awesome.

This is Monday, Memorial Day 2012. I have a picture of the dedication this weekend of a wonderful statue that has been added to the Veterans Memorial Park here in town.  Here is a picture of the statue; I will post some pics of the dedication ceremonies on another post.
New Statue in Veterans Memorial Park

This was how soldiers went back to find their fallen friends.

Side view of Soldier Statue in Veterans Memorial Park


Ms. A said...

What a great statue and I like the one behind it, too! Excellent job on the photos!

Shrinky said...

It's so important to remember those who fell in service to their country, but I also love the idea of extending the day to include all those loved ones who have passed on, too. Touching photograph.

Rock Chef said...

That is a wonderful memorial, and extending the day to cover remembering everyone is a great idea.

We are not that great at this sort of thing over here - especially recently where it becomes political. Something like that would probably be vandalised in a lot of British towns...

DJan said...

Today is a day of remembering for me, not just those who died in service, but those of us who have gone on ahead, where we will all be going one day. Some of them I miss daily, others come to mind on this day. That is a very poignant picture, CiCi.

Jeanie said...

I remember my mother visiting and decorating graves of family memebers on Memorial Day....in fact I think my first impression of the holiday was the remembrance of family members.

Adam said...

Happy memorial day

Brian Miller said...

wow what an awesome statue...and i love the honor they bring to the day there...that is a beautiful thing....we dont even have a parade here...sad...

Jeni said...

When I was growing up, this holiday was still called Decoration Day -because of the flowers and tributes people placed on graves of all loved ones but there was also always a service at our church cemetery in which special tributes were given then for those who had served and died as well as those who are veterans and those serving today. Now, we call this holiday Memorial Day but I think it's very sad to realize how many people don't know the meaning of this day -with respect to those who died serving our country -nor do people seem to pay homage to friends and family who have now passed on either the way they did in years past. I hope I can teach my grandchildren the special meaning -and feelings too -that one gets by placing flowers on the graves of loved ones you knew as well as family and close friends you grew up knowing about too.

Abby said...

Great post, CiCi, and a nice statue. I mainly think of memorial day of honoring those who died in battle, but I love the idea of remembering all loved ones who have passed.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

It is a beautiful statue. It gives me chills. ((HUGS))

Mrs4444 said...

I know my family would have come up with ten other things to do than attend the Memorial Day service today, so I kind of tricked them into going, and they were very moved and glad we went. As an added bonus, the service was held at the mausoleum at which my dad is interred, so I waved to Dad, too :)

CiCi said...

Ms A, For some reason I enjoy the Veterans Memorial Park and taking pictures there is a blast. I noticed the new statue as soon as it was installed there and have been looking forward to the dedication.

Shrinky, The day I walked around the new statue a VFW man was there too and he told me about the soldiers going back to find their buddies helmets on their rifles.

Rock Chef, this town has lots of feeling for veterans, for seniors, for children, for community.

DJan, I thought of you today and the loved ones you keep in your heart.

Jeanie, that is so nice that you were shown that tradition of decorating the graves and the true meaning behind it.

Adam, Thank you for stopping by and hope your Memorial Day was great.

Brian, I try to hold myself back from gushing about the neat things here, isn't that a riot? I got some pics of the dedication of the new statue, will have another post soon about it, but I didn't get a pic of all the people who were there for it.

Jeni, I hope you can pass along the meaning and the love expressed at Memorial Day to your grandchildren. I am only now learning the respect and honor this day holds.

Abby, I like the idea of honoring family and loved ones too as well as the respect paid to all the military who have died. Maybe that is why I enjoy this holiday so much since moving here.

Debby, Exactly. From the first sighting of the new statue I have been somehow attached to it. It is a wonderful piece of art with powerful meaning behind it.

Mrs 4444, I am so glad your family attended the Memorial service with you and that it moved them. I like that you were able to give your Dad a wave as well.

Hilary said...

I wouldn't have thought of it to include civilian losses as well. Our Remembrance Day in November is for military. Lovely post, CiCi.